WHAT IS IT REALLY LIKE OUT THERE? by Thomas Moorman

WHAT IS IT REALLY LIKE OUT THERE?

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

The very rigor that Moorman advocated so effectively in How to Make Your Science Project Scientific (1974) is absent from this broader application of scientific ""truth-testing"" methods to social and other everyday matters such as ethnocentric prejudice and advertisers' ""brain twisting."" Here he tends to wander far afield, as with hasty advice on ""personal growth"" and ""hangups,"" and without the science-project focus of the first book his review of such concepts as ""correspondence"" and ""coherence"" theories, validity evaluation, ad hominem arguments, and double-bind experiments tend to hang in a vacuum. When examples are introduced, instead of clarifying they bring with them loaded issues (gun control, IQ scores) which, as they're not tackled head-on, only distract from the technical points. And truth-testing ""projects"" such as a community survey, historical research or a family study seem aimless (if not pesty) exercises when introduced merely as ways to apply the methodology. More central, simply warning that ""we must not let out emotions. . . . control our search"" is hardly enough to combat the many and complicated forces that mitigate against the experimental method in non-laboratory situations. Moorman's intentions are the best and he states touchingly at the end that ""if enough people were exercising the habit of truth many of the manipulators and exploiters of people would be put out of business."" Well, if this nudges any readers toward acquiring that habit then his earnest optimism will be vindicated.

Pub Date: March 9th, 1977
Publisher: Atheneum